Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH


“Doing research in integrated health systems like ours gives us a 360-degree view of care, allowing us to comprehensively assess quality and work toward better health outcomes.” 

Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH

Vice President for Research and Health Care Innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington
Executive Director and Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Professor of Health Systems Science at Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine



Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH, was appointed vice president for research and health care innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington and executive director of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in August 2019. She is also a senior investigator at the institute, pursuing research on improving care for children and others throughout the life course.

A pediatrician, Dr. Mangione-Smith’s research to date has focused primarily on assessing quality of care and then developing, evaluating, and implementing quality improvement interventions in areas such as transitions between sites of care and hospital-based care for respiratory illness and mental health.

She has also conducted extensive research on doctor-parent communication, studying how interactions influence the decision to prescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory illness in pediatric outpatient settings. Based on this work, she has developed a multifaceted quality improvement intervention for outpatient providers called Dialogue Around Respiratory Illness treatment (DART).

Dr. Mangione-Smith has a passion for developing learning health systems where scientists and clinicians collaborate on research programs that can drive the improvement of health care delivery, quality, and cost.

Before her work at Kaiser Permanente Washington, Dr. Mangione-Smith served as an investigator in the Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and Hospital Medicine in the University of Washington (UW) Department of Pediatrics. She was also director of the Quality Improvement Scholars Program at the UW Department of Pediatrics and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

An accomplished organizational leader, Dr. Mangione-Smith is recognized for her work as an active teacher and mentor. At the UW, she established a division-wide mentorship program for junior faculty that has been highly successful. She also developed several collaborative working groups across the UW Division of General Pediatrics and Hospital Medicine focused on enhancing the quality and safety of care across six outpatient and six inpatient clinical sites.

In 2018, AcademyHealth, the nation’s premiere health services association, honored Dr. Mangione-Smith with its “Child Health Interest Group Life Time Achievement Award,” recognizing her significant and lasting contributions to child health services research. She also received the 2017 Academic Pediatric Association Research Award, the organization’s highest award for research excellence and achievement.

Dr. Mangione-Smith is an affiliate professor in the Department of Health Services at the UW School of Public Health.

She is also a professor in the Department of Health System Science at Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine.



Lion KC, Zhou C, Ebel BE, Penfold RB, Mangione-Smith R. Identifying modifiable health care barriers to improve health equity for hospitalized children. Hosp Pediatr. 2019 Dec 4. pii: hpeds.2019-0096. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2019-0096. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mangione-Smith R, Zhou C, Williams DJ, Johnson DP, Kenyon CC, Tyler A, Quinonez R, Vachani J, McGalliard J, Tieder JS, Simon TD, Wilson KM. Pediatric Respiratory Illness Measurement System (PRIMES) Scores and Outcomes. LID - e20190242 [pii] LID - 10.1542/peds.2019-0242 [doi] Pediatrics. 2019;144(2). pii: peds.2019-0242. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-0242. PubMed

Johnson J, Wilson KM, Zhou C, Johnson DP, Kenyon CC, Tieder JS, Dean A, Mangione-Smith R, Williams DJ. Home smoke exposure and health-related quality of life in children with acute respiratory illness. J Hosp Med. 2019 Apr;14(4):212-217. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3164. PubMed

Sheftall AH, Chisolm DJ, Alexy ER, Chavez LJ, Mangione-Smith RM, Ferrari RM, Song PH. Satisfaction with care coordination for families of children with disabilities. J Pediatr Health Care. 2019 May - Jun;33(3):255-262. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2018.08.010. Epub 2018 Nov 16. PubMed

Lifland B, Wright DR, Mangione-Smith R, Desai AD. The impact of an adolescent depressive disorders clinical pathway on healthcare utilization. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2018 Nov;45(6):979-987. doi: 10.1007/s10488-018-0878-6. PubMed


What drives Dr. Rita Mangione-Smith?

In this Q&A, Kaiser Permanente Washington’s new top researcher describes her passion for quality improvement, strategic planning, and evening aperitivo.

live healthy

Mother with child talking to clinician

When does your child need antibiotics?

From Dr. Rita Mangione-Smith: Questions for parents to ask their pediatrician before deciding to give a child antibiotics.

KPWHRI In the Media

Preventing antibiotic resistance

How do I know if my kid needs antibiotics?

New York Times, Nov 15, 2019

Mangione-Smith_Rita_1col.jpgTop pediatrician-scientist chosen as new head of KPWHRI

Rita Mangione-Smith brings expertise in quality improvement and health systems from leadership posts at Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine.